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Bees hold off F-M, return to Class AA final

B'ville to meet CBA in title game at Carrier Dome

Baldwinsville running back Tyler Rouse (32) breaks free again for a long run in Friday night's Class AA quarterfinal against Fayetteville-Manlius. Rouse ran for 272 yards on 35 carries, scoring four touchdowns, as the Bees held off the Hornets 38-36.

Baldwinsville running back Tyler Rouse (32) breaks free again for a long run in Friday night's Class AA quarterfinal against Fayetteville-Manlius. Rouse ran for 272 yards on 35 carries, scoring four touchdowns, as the Bees held off the Hornets 38-36. P.J. Duffy

— Now the Bees were ahead 28-9, threatening to pull away. But F-M started to rally thanks to more Bees penalties, as two personal fouls led to Sean Bright's five-yard scoring run that cut the margin to 28-15.

What followed was one of Rouse's finest moments in a career full of superlatives. Taking a toss at his own 48, Rouse broke several tackles at the line of scrimmage, took off down the right sideline and, with one man to beat, just jumped over him while tumbling into the end zone.

"They like to tackle me low," said Rouse of the 52-yard play that made it 35-15 late in the third quarter. "I just jumped out of instinct."

Again, the Hornets would not surrender. Bright's third TD, on a 16-yard run, made it 35-22, and after the Hornets recovered an onside kick, it converted a pair of fourth downs on the way to Chris Bortel's one-yard TD plunge with 9:10 left.

So now it was 35-29, and B'ville needed a big play. Again, it came from the passing game, Demoski finding Anthony for a 35-yard completion that set up a 27-yard field goal by sophomore Tom Scarfino with 6:15 left, which turned out to be the winning points.

That's because the Hornets again moved down the field, cutting the deficit to two on Jake Wittig's 20-yard scoring pass to Dan Wyman with 3:28 left.

Again, B'ville turned to Rouse. His tough 10-yard run, and a two-yard run that followed on third-and-two, allowed the Bees to eat up most of the remaining clock, and Rouse was roughed trying to punt the ball in the final minute, giving the Bees a clinching first down and starting the celebration among the partisans in red.

For the night, Rouse gained 272 yards on 35 carries, and he lost up to 100 more yards because of the flags, and added nine tackles on the defensive side. Demoski threw just nine passes, but completed five of them for 141 yards, and Scarfino converted all five of his extra-point attempts.

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